Tarasenko’s two goals, Binnington’s shutout lift Blues to eighth straight win
The combination has led the St. Louis Blues to their longest winning streak in 18 years.
Binnington matched a franchise rookie record with his seventh straight victory, Tarasenko scored twice and the Blues stretched their winning streak to eight games with a 4-0 win over the Arizona Coyotes on Thursday night.
“I’m excited about the direction this is headed,” Binnington said. “How disciplined we’re being, selfless. It’s fun to be a part of.”
Joel Edmundson scored early in the first and had an assist on Tarasenko’s goal late in the period. Tarasenko put the Blues up 3-0 late in the second period with a power-play goal, giving him nine goals and eight assists during a career-high 10-game points streak.
Robert Bortuzzo scored his second goal of the third period for the Blues, who have their longest winning streak since 2000-01. St. Louis is 14-4-1 in 2019, including 9-2-1 on the road.
Binnington made 21 saves to match Brent Johnson’s rookie franchise-record winning streak set in 2000-01. Binnington had a shutout in his first career NHL start on Jan. 7 and has two more while going 11-1-1.
“Great job by him and the team,” Blues coach Craig Berube said. “He’s playing really well, and we’re playing well in front of him.”
Coming off a 6-1 win over Vegas, the Coyotes came out flat against arguably the NHL’s hottest team, leading to a predictable result.
— FOX Sports Midwest (@FSMidwest) February 15, 2019
Arizona gave up two goals in the first period and, despite playing better the final two periods, had a hard time generating scoring chances after the Blues packed it in defensively.
Darcy Kuemper stopped 20 shots for Arizona, which has lost six of eight.
“To beat St. Louis, you’ve got to be quicker on the puck,” Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. “The second we were better, but the first we were sluggish.”
The Coyotes have dominated the series with St. Louis recently, winning the three previous games by a combined score of 17-3. Arizona rolled over the Blues in the first meeting this season on Dec. 1, all but chasing goalie Chad Johnson out of St. Louis by scoring all its goals against him in a 6-1 win.
St. Louis has been a different team since the start of the new year, though, winning behind Binnington and a high-scoring offense.
The Blues jumped on the Coyotes early Thursday night, dominating the puck until scoring 3 1/2 minutes in when Edmundson swept a rolling pass from Jaden Schwartz past Kuemper’s right pad.
Tarasenko made it 2-0 with his 23rd goal, lifting his stick waist-high to deflect a pass from Edmundson under Kuemper’s left arm.
Tarasenko stretched the lead to three goals late in the second period, one-timing a pass from Brayden Schenn at the left circle for his 24th of the season.
“It’s kind of disappointing when you look at how our team came out,” Coyotes captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson said. “We knew we had to win this one, so it hurts a little.”
Notes: The teams’ final meeting this season will be March 12 in St. Louis. … Coyotes C Brad Richardson returned after missing 13 games with an upper-body injury. … Blues LW David Perron missed his seventh straight game with an upper-body injury.
The Blues play at Colorado on Saturday.
The Coyotes host Toronto on Saturday.